ACU Police Chief Jimmy Ellison was honored with the Outstanding Police Chief Award for 2010 by a state-wide group of college police departments.
The Texas Association of College and University Police Administrators gave Ellison the award. Ellison, who has served as ACU’s Chief of Police since 2001, said the award demonstrated the commitment the university and his officers have shown to ensure the campus remains safe.
“I was surprised and honored to receive it,” Ellison said. “There are a lot of deserving chiefs around the state, so I was very honored to receive it. To me it’s more of a reflection of the department staff and the university than it is a reflection of me as an individual.”
Ellison said the award, formally know as the Bill G. Daniels Outstanding Administrator Award, is handed out annually by TACUPA to an outstanding police chief in Texas. TACUPA was founded in 1964 and currently comprises of about 110 departments.
Ellison attributes the success of ACUPD in keeping campus safe to his department’s 16 officers.
“We have highly experienced and seasoned police officers, many of whom are in their second career, meaning they’ve already served a year in municipal or county policing. That gives us a very unique combination of staff, and that helps build a great police department.”
Shawn Burns, chief of police at West Texas A&M University and president of TACUPA, said Ellison was a “hands down” choice for the award after the association received his nomination
“I was very proud to present the award to Jimmy,” Burns said. “I’ve known him for several years and I’m proud of a lot of the work he has done at ACU. Often, the award goes to chiefs who are humble and don’t want to be in the spotlight.”
Burns said Ellison also has shown a commitment to working with local law enforcement in Abilene.
“I know some guys from the Abilene Police Department, and Jimmy has done a wonderful job creating a working relationship with them,” Burns said.
Dr. Jean-Noel Thompson, ACU’s vice president and dean for student life, nominated Ellison for the award and attended his ceremony. Thompson said Ellison has done a wonderful job of transforming ACUPD into a fully functional police force.
“Chief Ellison has a wonderful way of being personable and connecting with people, not just at ACU, but with our Abilene Police Department,” Thompson said. “Folks trust him because they know he is going to do things right.”